December 3, 2008

The Art of Giving

How would you feel if you don't get anything for Christmas this year ? Or worst your birthday too ( your birthday is in December and close to Christmas) ? You probably will feel bad, right? No kidding, I would too, especially IF I was expecting something...

Good for those giving you a gift because they only have to spend on one gift for two occasions - saves them money! Bad for you - you only get one instead of two - the result: brokenhearted!

This was me growing up. My birthday is 3 days before Christmas so I always end up with one gift instead of two! I grovelled, grunt and complain thinking how unfair it was not getting the RIGHT number of gifts everytime! That was then and this is now...

I decided to make peace with that "curse" and accepted the fact that I'm not getting anything for Christmas or my Birthday this year. If you must know, I'm not trying to be a saint here - trust me - but in the light of the bad economy, our financial situation and the "give me, give me" mentality that now defines the meaning of Christmas, something just have to learn to give up a little or you give up A LOT...

It's no secret that life for my family has been very tough this year. We are the BIG LOSERS of the year unfortunately. We gave up most of what little luxuries in life we enjoyed doing. Tightened our belts to a point it's sickening! Our much promised Disney Experience to our Little girl for Christmas this year - much to her dismay and frustration - went down the drain. I was almost at a point where I would put up a donation box for our "Food Bank"!

This is why my hubby and I decided that we will not spend a dime that we don't have just to buy gifts for each other this year. We will celebrate my birthday and Christmas the way we can. We've already given each other the bestest gift : EACH OTHER. One which we'll cherish for as long as we can and that's all that matters now...As for my daughter, she'll still get something but only one...she deserves it, but she too, needs to learn the true meaning of Christmas : Giving...Sacrifice... partnered with gratitude.

This being said, I was blessed to have won one of the giveaways from Fifi Flowers via SITS- the only material gift I'll probably get this year. Not bad... not bad at all...
Our Christmas tree will be bare of gifts this be it...

"It's better to give than to receive.." Is this what defines you this year?


  1. it is so true. this year is difficult for so many people in so many ways...

    i often wonder what the point is of buying gifts for my hubby and vice versa. the most important thing to me has always been just spending time together anyway. the memories made when spending time together never fade and last longer then any material thing as it is.

  2. hi maricris,

    you're probably going to have less stress too by doing christmas the way you're doing it this year. i also talked to my brothers and sisters and we're just going to do gifts for the children, none for the adults.

    i'm praying for a turn around for you and your hubby. may the rest of 2008 bring you peace and 2009 be a year of blessings pouring out in your life!

  3. We're all in the same boat, that's for sure. I'm sooooo glad you won. You deserve a treat. We had to cancel our trip to Disney too. It stinks.

  4. I would rather give than to receive. My hubby and I don't exchange gifts anyway, we just play Santa for the kids. I think Christmas is about much more than presents, I love the family time, holiday food, and going to church. It's a time to count our blessings for sure, because there are so many people hurting this year!

    Congrats on your win and and best wishes in the coming year :-)

  5. You have a great attitude about it and I am sorry things are so tough right now. I know how it can be as I went from being a stay at home mom for 6 years to two jobs to help make ends meet (and I am grateful for those jobs). it is better to give than receive-your attitude is an inspiration.

  6. Hubby's bday is next week and he used to get screwed with the pre-xmas gift giving too. Poor guy. :( Good for you for choosing the non-materialistic xmas!!

    I love giving gifts. The fun of picking the perfect gift, spending hours wrapping it perfectly and then watching the look on hte person's face when they open it. :) Love it every time! :)

  7. A simplified Christmas is definately the way to go. Disney will always be there. Enjoy the joy of the season and all the best in 2009.

  8. I almost for got your b-day is the day before mine! I can sooo relate! We've been through tough times too. Actually we still are. I think if I can give my kids a few things & have time w/ people we love & a great meal, the the holidays are wonderful. And don't forget all the fun Christmas movies :) Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas to you :)

  9. It is better to give than receive, as St Francis of Assisi once said. I think it's sweet what you said about you and your hubby being the best gifts to give each other this year.

    Merry Ho Ho and all that Christmassy cheer!

    Christa @

  10. Your only consolation is, everybody's in the same boat as you do, so it should not matter much. I'm sure most people are trying to be frugal this Christmas season, and setting aside material wants. After all Christmas is really about giving and if you receive something, it's just a bonus, lol.

    Although you only receive one gift for your bday and xmas, at least you celebrate it on the very festive season of the year, well I guess just think it that way, so it wont be too frustrating, lol.

  11. that's cool! we have cut wayyyy back as well. kudos to you! it's quite liberating not having to worry about all of that shopping... and i do agree... better to give than receive. cheers!

  12. I'm new here! What a great blog :) ♥ Hugs!

  13. We have decided as a family to only exchange one gift among our extended group, Secret Santa style. Also only one gift for each kid from parents. We have been gradually minimizing the "getting" of gifts and do more family fun things at home!! I think the economy slow down may help people return to the spirit of the holiday like you said,"give the gift of each other." It's the time not the possession. Nice post!

  14. I am not expecting for gifts this Christmas especially this times of economic crisis. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Nice blog you have here.

  15. almost everyone is in a tight situation, our tree will be bare too ;) what counts most is you have each other.

    have a great weekend.

  16. About the Lumpia!
    My parents best friends were Dale & Purita....she is Filipino. I had a crush on her son when we were young. Anyway, she always made Lumpia and we couldn't get enough of it!
    Also, the filipino community in my town sells it at our community festival. Those woman make some money!!

    Do you say she is Filipino or she is Filipina?

    My anniversary is 2 days before Christmas....I wish we wouldn't have gotten married then. It is SO hard to celebrate 'cause we are so wrapped up in Christmas.

    I am sewing and crocheting most gifts this year.

  17. I completely know how you feel. My b-day is 5 days after Christmas. I seem to get over looked each year. Though my mom always makes a huge effort to have family get together for me. The hubby and I also decided not to buy much for each other this year. We really wanted this coffee pot, so that was our gift to each other. Money it to tight these days to go crazy with spending. Thanks so much for stopping by my little place on the web.

  18. Saw you on SITS. I have a December birthday too and even though it's three weeks before Christmas, I've had the "this is for your birthday and Christmas" bit a few times as well. Sucked as a kid, but now I don't care. I love giving more than receiving in my "old" age anyway. It doesn't take money to give either. Life's so much easier when materialism gets left behind.

  19. My sister, mother, and youngest son all have birthdays in the two weeks before Christmas. My sister especially was born the 24th and always got cheated on gifts. Sorry to hear you're struggling this season, you've got a great perspective though. So much to be thankful for. Good luck.

  20. My birthday and Christmas gifts were combined this year too, and my birthday is in September!
    Thanks for your kind words - I'm sorry that you had to go through the same thing with Norman. *HUGS*

  21. Girl I am broke to this year..times are hard!! Christmas is soooo all about I want this and so far away from the true meaning of the day! May the new year be your best year yet! :)


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